For the garden is the stage on which the gardener exults and agonizes out every crest and chasm of the heart.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Break In the Action

It rained buckets last night. My next door neighbor Judy said it was 5" in her gauge. I don't know how much it was; I do know it came down fast and hard enough to wash part of the hillside down onto my brick walks. I went out this morning to take pictures because there are more thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon - actually for the next five days. It could be worse - the farmers are really hurting.

The darker roses are William Baffin, the small single is Nearly Wild. The double pink rose is one single plant that is enormous. I've tried to I.D. it because it obviously loves my conditions, even posted pictures on a garden sites. Those old rose people are as wacko and opinionated as the old bicycle people, but still didn't come up with anything definitive.










Friday, June 7, 2013

Up Beat Garden


This is a bit of a repeat of yesterday's posting. I had to. Tree peonies. These plants are so beautiful they just make me ache. The flowers are 6" to 8" inches across, but are still light and graceful. I have five plants, all subtly different, but still similar because I bought the plants I liked. I'm in a floral rut. 

They will all be gone in a week.














Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beat Down Garden

Weather wise, the garden Winter and especially the Spring was a real bitch. The rabbits stripped the bark off of a lot of the roses and apple trees (my fault), two large Italian terra cotta pots crumbled because they still had dirt in them (again my fault). The Winter lingered on for an extra month (not my fault). A late foot of exceptionally heavy snow snapped off oak branches, slammed perennials into the ground and crushed shrubs Such is the way of gardening in the Upper Midwest - "once-in-a-hundred-year" storms, floods, droughts and high winds are the norm. Periodically, a corner of the slate gets wiped clean and I get to start over again. 

Compared to the gardeners, the plants are amazingly resilient. The tree lilac in the fourth picture was 180'd; the heavy snow bent the top right over to the ground. I shook off the snow, propped it up with a forked branch and now it's as good as new. The arborvitae hedging didn't fare so well. They lost about five feet off the top. Right now they look like hell. Most broke off, but those by the Growlery just bent over. It was an opportunity - I tied a couple of them together. Now I have an archway over the garden entry. Lemonade. We'll see how it looks in a year.

Some of the tree peonies had branches crushed to the ground. I was going to tie them up after they were done with their show, but I kind of like the Japanese look. Fitting I suppose, as they are originally Japanese plants. 









Thursday, March 7, 2013

Down the Growlery Path

(Originally posted on 1410 OakWood) 
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2012

Visitors (and myself) have been walking through dirt to get to the Growlery. I had some old 6 x 8s that had laid in the weeds out back for a couple of years. Early in the season I fashioned some primitive steps to keep from slip-sliding on the grass. I like to recycle things - I had further plans, but not much material with which to execute them. Then a couple of months ago I hit the mother lode; Lorna's sister, Linda and Larry committed to building a house next door and there were old bricks that suddenly needed a new home. The bricks had been a patio which over the years had become covered in moss and soil, so it was hard to tell how many there were. Lorna and I went into action, digging them out and wheelbarrowing them over and stacking them on the side of the Growlery. They were from the same tower as my existing path bricks, but they were various sized wedges and arcs. This made it a little challenging, but I think it gives the path more character. After I get some plants to soften the edges and moss growing in the cracks I think it will be pretty fine. 


On a run to the City Dump I noticed a particularly harsh colored flamingo sticking out of a bin, calling my name. Flamingos are nice - they are classic kitsch and they help my garden from becoming too rarefied.


Next year I'm going to put a little pocket garden in it's location, lay the pile of cement bricks, and build a couple of facing Gabus benches with wide, flat arms to set bottles on outside the Growlery door.